What’s new in the solar power world? The field of solar power is constantly evolving, so it’s no surprise that there have been many advancements in the last year. The panels are getting better, we are implementing new technologies, and in turn, moving the world forward.
This article will give you an overview of four new developments in the world of solar power that you should know about.
Four Developments in the World of Solar Power
Solar panels are already efficient, but that didn’t stop us from improving them even further. In 2020, we discovered that perovskites were one of the best new compounds for solar panels, as it helped make them more efficient. And, in 2021, we took another, bigger, leap forward in that department.
A Chinese company, LONGi, broke the world record by achieving 25.19% solar conversion efficiency. This record came only a month after the company had set the previous record of 25.09%. LONGi accomplished this by using its advanced monocrystalline cell technologies.
On the other hand, Australian scientists set a new world record in power output produced by a solar cell of around 29%. They achieved this by developing a cell that has two sides for converting solar energy. Because of that, these cells proved better than single-sided silicon solar cells and more efficient.
When reviewing innovations in the solar power world, we cannot fail to mention green hydrogen.
As the world is looking for a greener future, the answer may lay in using hydrogen fuel. But to see the positive effects of this fuel, it has to be produced with low emissions, and that’s where solar panels come into play.
Countries across the world are looking to help the green hydrogen trend by investing in green hydrogen production sites. The UK strives to significantly increase its number of such production sites. As a result, both the environment and the UK will become more energy independent.
But some countries are looking at green hydrogen from a different perspective. Most notably, they are looking for other ways to produce it. Canada and Switzerland have developed a new electrolysis technology that helps them produce green hydrogen from water. This technology is potentially groundbreaking, and in combination with other solar power improvements, can be a big stepping stone to a cleaner planet.
Africa and Asia Are Turning to Solar Power
Africa has seen improvements in the last year, especially in urbanization and the economy. But this growth has also increased its need for clean energy. Thus, the African governments turned to foreign investors for aid. The officials wanted to make solar power more accessible to its people, and with the investors’ help, they were able to achieve such a feat. They funded several projects (Chollet hydroelectric project) and built solar plants, which resulted in numerous improvements for the general public.
On the neighboring continent, India was at the center of attention. It managed to add 8.8MW of solar capacity in just nine months. With it, India’s renewable energy capacity now stands at 101.53GW, which is an astounding feat.
Agrivoltaics Are Becoming More Popular
Using agricultural land to expand our solar panel network may not seem like a pressing topic in the grand scheme of things. But it gained much attention last year.
We realized that certain fields of agriculture, along with the solar power industry, could benefit from working together. On the one hand, more available land means more space for solar panels, which benefits people in the solar power business.
And on the other hand, the solar panels will provide shade in the area they are placed. In turn, the farmers won’t need as much water for irrigation and will improve their crop yield.
Some of the most powerful countries in the world have gotten on this wave of agrivoltaics. The US and Japan have numerous ongoing projects in this field, as does Europe. Currently, there is an ongoing race of pilot trials to determine the extent of agrivoltaic’s productivity.